GREENSBURG, PA. – A total of seven All-Stars between the two teams. Tied for first in the PIHL AA Southeast, with 22 points, and this game could be the deciding factor on who will be the 1 seed come playoffs. Nothing short of exciting hockey between the Greater Latrobe Wildcats and the Upper St. Clair Panthers.
All-Star goaltender Gage Handwork (6-3, SV%: 0.883) got the start for the Wildcats. In net for the Panthers was Kyle Rohrich (3-3, SV%: 0.876)
Both goalies stood tall in the first period as neither team was able to find the back of the net. The Wildcats outshot the Panthers 13-6.
Gregory Ferri got Greater Latrobe on the board first at 3:30 into the second period.
All-Star forwards Alexander Walker and Cole Novak came together for assist’s on Ferri’s second goal, and the game winner, late in the second (15:32).
The Panthers All-Stars were finally able to crack the Wildcats goaltender when Devin Rohrich and Anthony Carone set up Quinn Giacobbe for a power play goal (6:55). The Panthers had a great chance to tie the game with a powerplay and an empty net with :53 seconds left in the third, but came up short.
Greater Latrobe went 0 for 1 on the powerplay and Handwork stopped 25 of 26 shots on net.
Upper St. Clair went 1 for 4 with the man advantage and goaltender Rohrich stopped 26 of 28 shots on net.
With this win, the Wildcats now sit 2 points ahead of the Panthers in the standings. While they both will make the playoffs, each team controls their own chances for that number 1 seed. If both teams win the rest of their games they will be tied again for first and the 1 seed will go to Greater Latrobe for winning both games against Upper St. Clair this season.
Greater Latrobe has four games left with the next being at home on Thursday, January 31st, against the Plum Mustangs.
Upper St. Clair has five games remaining and will be home at the Ice Castle on Monday, January 28th, when they host the Hempfield Spartans.